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Author Topic: What horror do you like? What don't you like?  (Read 4357 times)
Moritz
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« on: October 05, 2015, 04:11:53 AM »

This is inspired by some comments in the flash fiction contest and my own thoughts about which stories there I liked or didn't like.

I like:
- cosmic horror (Lovecraft), demons and outer dimensions (e.g. Clive Barker)
- some gore, though I mostly like splatter movies when they are silly (like Peter Jackson's early work)
- references to magic and religion

I dislike/ or I'm not interested in:
- zombies, ghosts (there are ghost movies that are very scary, e.g. The Ring, but in general I'm not interested in ghosts as a thing)
- torture porn in movies (just not interested), focusing on people being hurt or being victims
- environmental horror (people drowning, storms, etc.)
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Fenrix
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2015, 08:52:20 PM »

There's a lot I can agree with on your lists, Moritz.

I like horror that benefits from deep reading. Cosmic horror like Ligotti's Notes on Writing Horror: A Story or the Livia Llwellyn's Stabilimentum this past week or Magdala Amygdala by Lucy Snyder. I also really like Bradbury. And the delightful horror in Doctor Who, like the classic Terror of the Autons or the more modern Blink. Also the Torchwood love letter to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I appreciate good meta-horror like The Cabin in the Woods.
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
Filociraptor
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 01:52:42 PM »

I love the classic serial killer / slasher films with the typical jump scares and characters who you know are going to die, psychological horror films, ones where you don't see the real villain or horror until the very end, and ones that just like to mess with your mind
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Tango Alpha Delta
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2015, 05:38:06 PM »

I find it hard to codify.

I don't like zombies as a rule - but I do enjoy Walking Dead more than I expected to. (For moments like the one where the group sings Tom Waits "Hold On" by the fire.)

I don't particularly care for gore...but it's more the cruelty involved than the fact of damage and/or violence.

I don't believe in the existence of the supernatural, so a lot of the "what if" thrill from stories about demons & monsters is ho-hum to me, but I do enjoy folklore and world-building.

Because I don't seek the genre out, I'm often pleasantly surprised by movies like The Ring or Thirteen Ghosts - but I would probably never rewatch them.

But I'm a faithful Pseudopod listener, and I always get something from Alasdair's essays, even if I don't care for a particular story.
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BCgornick
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2015, 07:09:33 PM »

Generally speaking, I don't enjoy slasher-type horror films, it's not the gore, but rather, serial killers don't give them the same sense of satisfaction as, say, a well-imagined, well-crafted monster. I don't care for torture porn, and not really a fan of the environmental horror stories, where people drown, etc. That being said, I really love JAWS, though I guess some would argue that's in the 'adventure' genre, rather than horror.

Some of the horror movies I've greatly enjoyed are: John Carpenter's The Thing (watched this many time, never gets old), Near Dark, American Werewolf in London, Silver Bullet, The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead, Fright Night, The Babadook, The Shining, Paranormal Activity (just saw the 1st film), and Evil Dead 2. That's a few of my fav's.

I love a good monster. Cloverfield was very enjoyable, I loved those giant monsters - same goes for The Host which had a monster in it that was really different and great fun to watch just moving around, lol

I have to say that in reading horror, I really need the atmosphere feel right. They may not be horror, but some of Ray Bradbury's work captures atmosphere in such a vivid way, you are placed right in the story. King's "The Shining" did that for me. I had goosebumps reading that book! Great experience. Recently, I've had the extreme pleasure of reading several of Shirley Jackson's books and she has a lovely way with immersing her reader into the creepy world she envisioned. "The Haunting of Hill House" was really excellent.  Grin
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CoalFat
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 12:52:26 PM »

Either cosmic/existential horror or a well-written vampire yarn will get me every time.

Religious fiction is very hit or miss for me. I do, however, like Paul Tremblay's A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS a great deal. It's a nice spin on possession for the 21st century.
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lowky
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2015, 11:38:35 PM »

Urban fantasy
Lovecraftian Eldritch horror
Vampires
stuff similar to event horizon (which could fall under lovecraftian)
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Moritz
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2015, 01:17:53 PM »

stuff similar to event horizon (which could fall under lovecraftian)

I love that movie! Do you have examples for what would be similar?
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Fenrix
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2015, 01:56:43 PM »

stuff similar to event horizon (which could fall under lovecraftian)

I love that movie! Do you have examples for what would be similar?

The Jaunt by Stephen King

Got some other stories similar to that coming up next year. The Jaunt would be included but the rights wrangling for anything of his is in the vicinity of an international treaty.
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
lowky
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2015, 09:51:54 PM »

stuff similar to event horizon (which could fall under lovecraftian)

I love that movie! Do you have examples for what would be similar?
Not really, just scifi horror mix.  which would include alien movies too.  event horizon really had a more horror feel even though it was set in outer space.  Any one else?  Moritz and I would love to watch them lol

The Crypt short stories podcast by Scott Sigler would fall under this somewhat.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2015, 08:26:30 AM »

stuff similar to event horizon (which could fall under lovecraftian)

I love that movie! Do you have examples for what would be similar?
Not really, just scifi horror mix.  which would include alien movies too.  event horizon really had a more horror feel even though it was set in outer space.  Any one else?  Moritz and I would love to watch them lol

The Crypt short stories podcast by Scott Sigler would fall under this somewhat.


Have you seen Cube?
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
lowky
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2015, 05:09:54 PM »


Have you seen Cube?

No I don't think so. 
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Fenrix
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2015, 11:53:15 PM »


Have you seen Cube?

No I don't think so. 

Great low budget canadian flick. Rented it on a lark, and was transfixed by this character driven sci-fi horror movie. Worth checking out.
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
Moritz
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2015, 05:17:52 AM »

I liked that movie but I don't really see it as similar in style/ vibe to Event Horizon
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Fenrix
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2015, 07:46:12 AM »

I liked that movie but I don't really see it as similar in style/ vibe to Event Horizon

It covers the "scifi horror mix" part of the discussion.
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
Chicken Ghost
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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2015, 03:03:35 PM »

I think it's hard to categorize what I enjoy in horror...character driven situational horror, I guess.  Psychological horror.  I like some cosmic horror, but more like Howard's take on it than Lovecraft's.  When Howard did it, it was more about what the cosmic monsters made people do than what it made them be.  I can enjoy any subgenre if it does something I haven't seen before or haven't seen too often.  

Which brings me to not liking zombies.  There are some zombie films and other things I still like.  Almost all of them comedies, all of them prior to Peak Zombie, which I'm going to put at the premier of the Walking Dead.  The Walking Dead, possibly by increasing the cultural penetration of zombies, really brought out the worst elements of fandom and interpretation or association of metaphor.  Maybe if I hadn't spent so much of the period of the zombie fad gazing at the abyss of right-wing politics as a masochistic hobby I'd be okay with it, but the racism of the Walking Dead (whether intentional or not...honestly it's more powerful if unintentional) is impossible to miss when you see how many racists are fans of it and its model of Zombie Apocalypse (and it doesn't even matter if it's supposed to be satirical, because these people are immune to satire).  Zombies generally have become less something to fear becoming and more a way to fantasize about some other whom it is perfectly acceptable to kill en masse.   Whether the fantasizer has even got a particular other in mind doesn't change the function it's taken on.  None of this is inherent to zombie fiction, of course, and it's still possible to create something that doesn't pander to this mentality, something that has a message beyond "HAY GUYS HOW 'BOUT SOME ZOMBIES!?"  But that's a steep wall it's got to climb to get to me.  

I think the type of horror I like is determined by what I fear.  I can get behind any subgenre if it pushes the right buttons.  I pretty much don't fear any THING or any ONE.  (My fight-or-flight response is almost 100 percent fight.)  I do fear the aggregate effects of EVERYthing or EVERYone.  So cosmic horror is going to have a natural appeal to me...something bigger than can be fully comprehended, bigger than can possibly be resisted.  I do fear myself, what I'm capable of through a loss of self-control or through personal failure.  I fear what I could have become with some different life choices; and some of the authorities in my youth thought I was going to be some pretty bad things.  Psychological horror is natural for me.  (I loved "The Babadook.")  I can enjoy any horror that pushes the right buttons.  

I think I dislike zombies for the same reason I dislike moe anime.  It isn't so much what I see in them as what I see in their audiences, I see real life things that I am glad I am not and which I was at one point in serious danger of becoming.  (Also they are both done to death.)  I'm okay with the parts of myself that I don't like being demonized.  I'm not okay with them being pandered to.
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lowky
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2015, 08:22:14 AM »

I have to add The Babadook to horror I like.  Watched both that and the Woman in Black 2 last night.   Loved the Babadook.   Woman in black 2 was good too, but nowhere near as good as the first one.  I was surprised by it though, as from the trailers it didn't seem like it had much of anything to do with the original story, and it was closer to original than expected.   I don't think I mentioned the first Woman in Black before either, so I would have to add "Victorian" Ghost Stories to my list of likes.  I remember really enjoying the Monkey's Paw short story as a child.  Definitely prefer the creepy victorian style over some of the "new" ghost stories. 
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2015, 09:04:17 PM »

Has anyone ever read "the Cell: by Stephen King? Smiley It's a pretty old book, but it envisioned what the world would look like quite well..
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Tango Alpha Delta
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2015, 10:05:36 PM »

Has anyone ever read "the Cell: by Stephen King? Smiley It's a pretty old book, but it envisioned what the world would look like quite well..

That was one that made me mad - in a good-ish way, I guess. King usually ends his books 30 pages too early or 30 pages too late; this one felt like it was just hitting its stride when it cut off.

Like a dropped phone call?
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tripetta
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2015, 03:28:16 AM »

Can't beat shapeshifters. The really old psuedopod post called "dog head" is a superb example. Shivery.
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ElectricMandolin
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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2015, 08:08:33 PM »

My favorite horror is the horror in which the protagonist doesn't overcome whatever fear they are trying to overcome. That's why I enjoy Lovecraft's work, no one wins in his stories. You can't beat the monsters, only hide and hope they don't find you. Tying into that, when the protagonist is the monster horror is even more potent to me. There's nothing more terrifying than what is in your own mind.
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lowky
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« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2015, 08:46:27 AM »

My favorite horror is the horror in which the protagonist doesn't overcome whatever fear they are trying to overcome. That's why I enjoy Love craft's work, no one wins in his stories. You can't beat the monsters, only hide and hope they don't find you. Tying into that, when the protagonist is the monster horror is even more potent to me. There's nothing more terrifying than what is in your own mind.

You might check out revival by Stephen King.  it is lovecraftian, although a little more explicit in descriptions where as Lovecraft while descriptive, left a little more to the imagination. It has a "happy ending" in so much that the protagonist stopped the evil from coming through into our world, it is still there trying and whispering to him.
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Tim Tylor
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« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2015, 02:56:10 AM »

I'm a bit blase to iconic horror-species such as vampires, werewolves and zombies - their mythoses are so well pinned down and plotted out that they seem almost mundane. We know their habits and habitats, preferred prey, life-cycles, they're practically common fauna... It takes strong storytelling or a fresh approach to break through the shell of familiarity and make them alive and chilling again, reawaken the very real themes and fears at the core of them. (That new kid Slenderman has some advantage in comparison; he's holding on tenaciously to his essential mystery, not letting anyone pin down canonically what he is, where he's from, what he's up to, who makes his suits...)
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BraxLimbo
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2015, 01:29:56 AM »


I dislike/ or I'm not interested in:
- zombies
- torture porn in movies (just not interested), focusing on people being hurt or being victims


Same page. Don't like zombie themed movies or games. The only show I watch with zombies is The Walking Dead. Just feel like it could come true anytime and I don't really want to live in a zombie apocalypse. If I ever do and become one of the survivors, I'd probably strap myself with explosives and run in the middle of a zombie herd. At least even if I die, I'll bring some with me LOL
And torture porn. Nope. Just nope.
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dagny
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« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2015, 04:04:23 PM »

It's not exclusive to horror, but I hate, hate, HATE epistolary format. So much so that I still haven't finished "Jerusalem's Lot" in Night Shift.
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